Archive for Album Review

Review: KISS – Monster (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, INTO-NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by Tickets There

The kings of the night time world are back with screaming glory ‘n’ a vengeance! MONSTER is the twentieth studio album by iconic rockers KISS and it looks like 19 previous records, countless live shows and 39 years in the business haven’t slowed down the guys one bit. Monster is one of the biggest releases in the band’s history and it comes hot on the tails of their 2009 record, Sonic Boom (at that time, their first album in ten years) which saw the band achieve the highest US chart success of their entire career. Now the task falls on Monster to satisfy the mighty KISS army, continue their never ending – steamrolling success, fuel the ship on their second and sold out KISS KRUISE and most importantly of all, add a few more hits to the indestructible KISS KATALOGUE (yes, everything KISS related must, when possible, begin with a K).

Monster delivers everything the band promised and more. No ballads, no outside song writers and a welcome return to the band’s classic seventies sound. Harder guitars, re-introduction of groove and balls to the wall rock ‘n’ roll. Opening track ‘Hell Or Hallelujah’ screams back to the days of Love Gun and Rock N Roll Over. Shredding guitars left right and centre, a pounding riff and Paul ‘Starchild’ Stanley standing firm at the forefront delivering the best song KISS have written in years. Fortunately, it’s not alone. ‘Take Me Down Below’, ‘Last Chance’ and ‘Freak’ are all stand out tracks, vocally endorsed by Mr. Stanley, each one making a case to outshine the others.

As with Sonic Boom, Gene’s tracks take a few more listens to really get to grips with. The demon seems to be on a quest for a pounding, thunder some anthem that correctly represents his larger than life character with all the dark coattails and demonic tendencies attributed to such a legend– with the obligatory sing along catchiness we all want from KISS of course. After three days of listening, we can happily agree ‘Back To The Stoneage’, ‘The Devil Is Me’ and ‘Wall of Sound’ achieve everything you’d want from a classic Gene track. However his work with Paul on ‘Take Me Down Below’ stands out as one of the true Monster gems.

Not forgetting Tommy Thayer or Eric Singer, both deliver the goods across the board on Monster. Once again they both get a shot at the spotlight handling vocals on ‘Outta This World’ and ‘All For the Love of Rock ‘N’ Roll’ respectively.  Two feel good, sing along KISS tracks that fill their space nicely (of course, this writer is tipping his hat to Outta This World more so).

Well, Monster is everything you’d thought it would be. A solid KISS album with its fair share of tunes you’d happily invite into future live sets. The whole band put in a great performance and it’s a true credit to them, especially after so many years in the business. 37 years ago they preached about rocking and rolling every day and every night and unlike most of their contemporaries, they’re still doing it to the letter. Rock on KISS!

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ANVIL – Juggernaut of Justice (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by Tickets There

The Metal Pounder’s membership has been increasing in vast numbers since 2008’s massively acclaimed documentary, Anvil: The Story of Anvil and the release of the band’s fourteenth album, Juggernaut of Justice is sure to keep the fans rolling in. After some success in the early eighties, Anvil’s story took a well documented turn for the worst before a former fan, turned Hollywood screen writer captured the band’s misfortunes, loveable comedic moments and inner band tensions during the recording of their thirteenth album, This is Thirteen. The resulting film has been described as “the greatest film yet made about rock and roll “. Besides the comedy and mishaps, it captured their never say die attitude, hard working mentality and their genuine love for music, despite the numerous obstacles thrown in their path over the decades. Only a very cold, dead inside section of humanity wouldn’t warm to the band after viewing it but for the rest of us, we now have a new Anvil album to bask in!

Juggernaut of Justice is out, it’s loud and it’s as proud as punch. Pounding, ear bleeding heaviness mixed with furious, old skool riffs, solos and teeth grinding vocals. Opening with the monster gorging Juggernaut of Justice and When Hell breaks Loose, the album really hammers it’s point in quick. No messing, no muss – no fuss. The band sound strong, unrestrainable and on fire. While some may criticize the lack of diversity, actual metal fans will bask in the belting riffiage displayed on New Orleans Voo Doo, Fucken Eh!, On Fire and This Ride because they are killer.

In the middle there’s a few repetitions, but it’s all mighty! Not Afraid, Turn It Up and Conspiracy all follow suit to form. No major adventures, but saying that each one packs it’s own ‘hard as nails’ riff core, vengeance seeking lyrics and monster metal arrangements. Not too shabby for Tickets There. Running and Paranormal change the pace a little, adding some layers to the albums closing moments and leaves you with a few choice numbers not to be ignored on repeat plays. Swing Thing is an odd Swing / Metal arrangement that…still confuses us a little. Fun anways!

Anvil have worked to stay in the game and now it’s time for their efforts to come to fruition. Juggernaut of Justice is an excellent album and deserves the attention it’ll surely get from the worldwide metal community.  Every song has its own raw intensity that repeatedly pounds the listener into a disillusioned state. Be warned kids, Juggernaut of Justice should not be tried at home without Lemmy supervision.

The Foo Fighters – Wasting Light (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2011 by Tickets There

It’s hardly surprising that the Foo Fighters have become a band beloved by all. They’ve managed that always difficult task of appealing to fans from every cross section of music and country in the world. They’re so bloody savage that when ever you meet someone who doesn’t like them you’re left with a pity, shame and very obvious feeling of distrust towards the offending comments creator – the non-Foo Fighters fan. Tickets There has never been able to understand this rare breed of human but then again with all the Hitler’s, Gaddafi’s and Pol Pot’s we’ve produced it’s hardly surprising that evil does exist in the world. Fortunately they aren’t numerous enough to matter so the Foo’s love bludgeons on.

First and foremost, the band have produced some of the finest rock songs of the last two decades. How anyone could ever slate anything from The Colour and the Shape, their self-title début, There Is Nothing Left to Lose and One By One is a riddle that will plague philosophers for all the ages to come. Then there’s the videos! How can one band make so many savagely brilliant videos in such a short space of time? When Beavis and Butt-Head return we’re sure the Foo’s will be on regular rotation with respect showed by the little twits. Without going down the Nirvava connection, you have Dave Grohl – easily the most likeable man in the music industry. A man respected and admired by all; peers and fans alike. Not only does the man rule the roost when it comes to drumming but he’s proven himself one hell of an amazing song writer, singer and guitarist spanning everything from grunge to metal to rock to acoustic. He’s done it all and at the end of the day he’s still bowing to the likes of KISS, Motörhead and Kind Diamond. With all this together you can only imagine the excitement when they release a new album and Tickets There has returned just to tell you that they have delivered. Oh and of course let’s not forget to mention that Nirvana producer Butch Vig and former ‘Golden Age’ Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear have returned to the fold to help make this a pretty sweet record.

Bridge Burning kicks things off with plenty of riffage, a very restrained chorus but plenty of kick ass catchiness to slap a silly grin all over the puss. Rope, the albums first single falls back to an older Foo’s style that’s been slightly mixed with the In Your Honor grandiose vibe. Excellent song and proof that the Foo’s can pretty much try and accomplish anything they want in life! Dear Rosemary is a decent wee number but White Limo’s follow up has much more to offer. Oozing in screaming vocals, intimidating guitars and snake bite drums, the track is one of the heaviest the Foo Fighters have ever done and could be mistaken from a cut from their first record due to it’s raw, blistering energy. Also Lemmy Kilmister is in the video, can you get any more rock n’ roll than that?

Arlandria is more generic and bloated. There are very rare occasions when Foo Fighter’s choruses edge too close to the world of Nickelback and this is possibly one of them. Nice song that on repeat listens will probably see Tickets There becoming fonder and fonder of it. These Days is similar in structure and not one we’re currently going mad about but nothing offending here. Back & Forth is another momentarily impressive number with moments of excellence but an overall lack of amazo-balls. I’m not 100% sure but I think I hear some Bryan Adams influence in the chorus. C’est la vie. White Limo still rings string in the head so let’s move on.

A Matter of Time again has it’s moments but we’re feeling an overall lag at this point of the album. It’s all too close to what the lads have done before but offering the same quality in song writing and their promise that this is the heaviest album they’ve ever made are looking less and less creditable. Still not awful, still some Foo Fighter gems to make it more than worth your while but not looking like it’ll be remembered with the same esteem as their previous attempts.

Miss The Misery could be the changer though. Bellowing hard rock riffs, their classic dark overtones and a nice feeling to the song. Things are on the up as we reach the second last track, I Should Have Known which features a guest appearance by Dave’s former Nirvana band mate Krist Novoselic on accordion and bass which really kicks through towards the end of the song. Great number mixing different styles of rock and to some extent soul (we’ll explain when we’re sure). Final track Walk is an excellent number. More screaming vocals, belting drums and 100% Foo Fighter heaviness with better hooks than the New York Yankees golden pitchers could amass (saw this documentary about the Yankee’s a while ago…been trying to find out how to use it. Waste not want not).

Well the wait is over, we like it. There’s moment we’ll need to warm up but not too many to ignore completely. The albums strongest moments mostly happen within the first few songs but there are surprises at the end that’ll ensure full plays for a long time. It may not be remembered as their strongest but we’re sure some of these songs will live on happily within the Foo’s live set for a long time to come. If you want to hear for yourself, pop over and listen at the band’s Soundcloud page.

Tickets There HY-GIY?: Humanzi – Tremors

Posted in Album Review, Hy-Giy, Music with tags , , , , , on August 18, 2009 by Tickets There

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Time for another dive into my MP3 player to pick one of my favorite Irish albums from my limited selection of what Tickets There calls good Irish music. One of the main reasons I’ve picked this album is because the boi’s have a second one coming out sometime in the near future (although I said that last year) and I’m really hoping the Irish don’t let this one get past them.

When Humanzi burst onto the scene a few years ago they were fairly unlikely candidates for the clientele of Whelan’s and the underground scene in general to endorse them. I put this down to the fact that Humanzi are one of very few bands that can play, write good music and put on a fantastic live performance. Unfortunately their success didn’t grow outside of the Dublin scene so they took the sensible option and left the country to tour around Europe and further afield in the hopes of establishing a fan base that might actually grow. I’m not sure how much this has worked but the band don’t seem to have had any bother getting gigs across the continent thus far so I imagine it’s all good.

So back to Tremors. The first time I heard this record, I wasn’t hugely impressed. I thought many of the tracks just seemed to run together and the album had an overall style with any deviation or diversity meaning the tracks all kind of ran together and came across weak. Then I gave it another go and for a couple of months I found it hard to listen to anything else. Diet Pills and Magazines is quite simply a brilliant Punk Rock track. The lyrics are clever and witty, the tone is aggressive and the song is constructed with pop sensibilities. You can ask for any more than that now, can ya? The beating keyboards, the stomping rhythm of the guitars, drums and bass and the Shaun’s vocals are so perfectly fitting it’s uncanny. 6 Gun has a great opening, really dramatic and simple, again classic punk. Like Diet Pill’s.. it has a really full on attack mode chorus and Shaun e..bla, bla, bla. You get the point. Out on a Wire is one of my personal favs’. Great bass line, great guitars and I love the vocals. If you’re sitting down listening to this track it’s hard not to tap your feet along with the drums and when you’re on a dart or bus that looks a little strange. Really, really, really great song. I Want Silence is another of my favorites. Really swash buckling, ship swaying music. You can almost see the stage swaying from side to side with the band on it. You couldn’t stand still to music like this, it’s just too full of beats and melody not too enjoy. The verse is quite stretched but the chorus is just an anthem any band could be proud to have in their collection.

Long Time Coming is another good track. It’s a bit quieter than the others and does change the tone of the album a little. The flow is fantastic and the energy is ever present. Tremors is more like a Nine Inch Nails track than a punk song. Really heavy, really loud and really fucking good. Want to hear the best in the country, stick it on. Industrious, infectious and full of little beats, nooks and crannies that lead the song down different paths from time to time giving all the meag-moshers in the their audience a few moments of peace before it all comes crashing back down again. Song for Understanding is another slowish one. Now when I say slow and Humanzi, don’t go expecting Phil Collins singing In the Air Tonight, think more along the lines of the Sex Pistols covering …the Sex Pistols. Anyways, this one is a little more pop than the others and not a personal fav of Tickets There.

Fix the Cracks is another of the albums singles and a cracking wee tune it is too. Well worth the hype and praise it initially received and a pity it didn’t break the band abroad. Catchy chorus, great riffs and all that guff. Help me in the Morning is more a dance track than the others and shows there is a basic dance foundation ion the groups sound. Maybe that’s why they sound fresher and more original than most Punk Rock acts out there who all just to try and sound like the Clash / The Ramones or Green Day. Get your Shit Together sounds exactly like what you’d expect. Dirty distorted guitars, a mother thumping drum beat and all the attitude four lads from da north side can muster. Great track unless you’re a prat. Mass Hypnosis is last but not least. Heavy, undistinguishable vocals and a lot going on…yet still great.

If you have to get one Irish album this Christmas, make it Humanzi – Tremors.